Haney and Hunter Win Decisively

By: Oliver McManus

You’d imagine young Devin Haney has been watching compilations of Deontay Wilder in the last week as the 20 year old produced a highlight reel knockout, reminiscent of the Bronze Bomber, to stop Antonio Moran in the seventh round last night.

Floyd Mayweather’s protege was in his first fight under the DAZN banner and looked eager to make a statement as soon as the first bell rung. In previous contests there was an air of predictability to Haney with him happy to pick off rounds by doing the same thing, effectively, and keeping the contest permanently out of his opponent’s grasp: this fight was a punch perfect display of brutality.

May 25, 2019; Oxon Hill, MD; Devin Haney and Antonio Moran during their bout at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, MD. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing USA

You could probably make a case for Moran starting off the livelier of fighters with the Mexcian looking to box on the front foot but an overhand right from Haney foreshadowed what was to be Moran’s downfall. Haney’s challenger was anything but a ‘typical Mexican’ and appeared a little subdued in his attempts to provide pressure of his own – nothing like the gusto of South America that we know and love.

The champion, defending his WBC International and WBO Inter-Continental belt, was always on top of proceedings be it through a jab that continually peppered the midriff of Moran or as a result of his crisp footwork that took him out of range of his opponent’s swinging limbs. The jab always seemed to be hiding something. It was never a throwaway shot intended to see him through on the scorecards but always with spiteful intentions to set up a fight-finishing attack.

Haney provided good variety to his shots, as well, as he dropped Moran to the floor with a perfectly timed body shot that sapped any remaining will away from the Mexican. For the rest of the fifth round you could feel blood in the water and Haney went after it with a swift salvo of uppercuts interspersed with slamming hooks back to the body. A quieter sixth followed but the seventh round showed why Haney opted to sit on the backburner with a creepily calculated finish to the fight duly following.

An innocent one-two backed Moran up onto the ropes and Haney needed just two shots to finish it from there; a wicked body punch to draw his adversary’s guard down and provide the opening for as clean an overhand right you’ve ever seen from a man born outside of Alabama. Sheer strength akin to Deontay Wilder mixed with the precision and timing of someone like Darcey Bussell – balletic brutality from Devin Haney as he moves to 22-0.

Michael Hunter continued his sudden surge up the heavyweight rankings with an underrated stoppage of Fabio Maldonado. His Brazilian opponent looked as dreich and dour as he has done in any previous step-up with the former UFC fighter holding his guard nervously around the upper chest. Hunter was quick to settle into a rhythm and was teeing off on the face of Maldonado instantly; particularly pleasing was the straight left hand that Hunter would send bolting upwards, colliding smack on the nose of Maldonado time after time, having planted his front foot firmly in the canvas.

The contest never looked like it would last the scheduled ten rounds with Maldonado wobbled easily by the power of Hunter – a lovely one-two straight down the gulley marked the start of the finish as the Brazilian stumbled towards the ropes. Heavy artillery followed as The Bounty Hunter chased his loot with wild swinging shots. His disheveled opponent cut an apathetic look and the referee called a halt to the contest in the second round. Stating the obvious but you can tell Hunter used to be a cruiserweight, the way he dances around the ring with such flight of fancy, but he’s got the heavyweight power to cause serious issues.

It was an even shorter night of work for Filip Hrgovic who required less than a round to dispose of Gregory Corbin. The face of Croatian boxing looked to be searching from the off and he lept in with his jab at every possible opportunity, trying to close the distance in sudden bursts. Corbin, himself, was opting for a similar strategy but he had the odd tendency to dip his about six inches lower when looking to land speculative overhand rights. Hrgovic capitalised on that routine with a succinct step backwards followed a sharp, digging right hand to the cheek of Corbin that saw the American sprawled on the his back. There isn’t really much you can learn from that sort of fight except to say the tactical awareness of Hrgovic was spot on and the execution to back that up was scintillating.

The headline grabber has to be Devin Haney, however, with a performance that, really, showed us exactly why he is so highly touted. A contender for knockout of the year, to boot, and The Dream finds himself firmly on track for achieving just that. We might have to rename the ‘Wilder Windmill’ whilst if Haney can help it – ‘Haney’s Hammer” has an awfully nice ring to it…

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Trout, Gausha Fight to Split Draw in PBC on FS1 Headliner

By: Robert Contreras

FOX Sports 1 had the action Saturday night as Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) was live from Biloxi, Mississippi.

After Ahmed Elbiali opened the broadcast with a second-round knockout of a rather unorthodox Brazilian, who cited a broken jaw after the bout’s first knockdown, fans were treated to a demonstration of the sweet science between a pair of operators, former world champion Austin Trout and U.S. Olympic representative Terrell Gausha.


Photo Credit: Jamie Morton/Beau Rivage Resort Casino

Austin Trout (31-5, 17 KO) and Terrell Gausha (21-1, 10 KO) fight to a split draw (96-94, 95-95, 91-99)

The two junior middleweight contenders had themselves as close a contest as there can be Saturday night. While the PBC broadcast team saw a clear-cut win for Gausha, Trout’s complex attack and late surge left the ringside judges in a bind, resulting in a split-decision draw.

“We need to do that again,” Trout told PBC correspondent Jordan Hardy. “That’s after a year layoff. I need an immediate rematch.”

The time off did affect Trout’s approach. It took him a couple rounds to find his groove against Gausha, who employed a smooth, stylized long-range attack indicative of his amateur pedigree.

The center of the ring was Gausha’s in the opening round. Trout’s flickering jab did nothing to keep a right hand from stunning him along the ropes.

In Round 2, the 31-year-old Gausha began piling up a small lead in punches landed. Early on, his sharper punching was keeping Trout at bay but the action was for the most part at a standstill.

Trout, 33, refused to go away, alternating between southpaw and orthodox, and pressing forward and backwards. The former champion relied on his feet to disrupt his man: moving in and out, stray right hands found their home in Gausha’s belly.

But by the sixth period, Gausha began jabbing Trout’s face off. Familiar with southpaws, the former Olympian didn’t allow Trout to crowd him or land his left hand. Clean one-two-one combinations also secured Round 7 for Gausha before the two technicians continued their fencing match in the eighth round.

Trout had Gausha walking backgrounds in Round 8. Gausha found some success sitting back, and timing a slashing right uppercut but his inactivity provided an avenue to victory for his opponent.

In the penultimate round, Trout’s feinting froze up Gausha. And the final three finally provided a bang. The two met in the center of the ring and Gausha pitched big right hands at Trout but the southpaw evaded most of them. Trout closed the show with searing right and left hooks.

In all, the the nip-and-tuck affair was difficult to differentiate the two and, as expected, the PBC Fight Night stats was virtually identical. Trout landed 85 of 471 total punches (18 percent) while Gausha connected on 91 of 517 total punches (18 percent).

“I feel like I won’t the fight,” Gausha said inside the ring, before sharing the dark times he faced in preparation for the weekend. “I’ve been through a lot his camp. My father passed away during training camp but we got through it. Much respect to Austin Trout. He came out and fought but I came out with a victory, I thought.”

Chordale Booker (14-0, 7 KO) def. Wale Omotoso (27-3, 21 KO) by unanimous decision

Fighting for the first time over the 10-round distance, Booker passed the stiffest test of his career in the form of Omotoso. The American had a real puncher in front of him but was awarded a shutout decision for his tactical, flashy performance.

“I’m so happy—I used to dream about this,” Booker, nearly brought to tears, told Jordan Hardy after the fight. “To be here is amazing. It took me 10 years. I train everyday like I have a world title. Every fight means something to me.”

Booker, 28, chiseled away at his opponent’s head, delivering bolting left and right hands. He fought comfortably behind a southpaw jab, eventually sitting on winging left hands in the second half of the bout.

The 34-year-old Omotoso never really found his rhythm, following and hacking away at Booker, who remained in safe distance from long range. In the third period, he could only play spectator when his man began showing off with some high knees.

In Round 4, Booker continued the show, crushing Omotoso with a winging left hand and then began shimmying his shoulders. Omotoso was visibly tired by the fifth round and was on the receiving end of more fierce one-twos through the latter stages.

For a short time in the ninth stanza, both men traded haymakers. But going backwards, Booker caught Omotoso with a stiff left hand that clearly shook up the veteran. He followed Omotoso down and pounded away at him as the commentary booth debated over his chances of stopping Omotoso for the first time. The Nigerian-born puncher found some life by hurling right hands, falling over with all his weight into Booker, but it wasn’t enough to win even a single round.

According to the PBC Fight Night stats, Booker landed 179 of 647 total punches (28 percent) and Omotoso connected on just 90 of 574 total punches (16 percent).

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Herring, Pedraza Emerge Victorious On Top Rank ESPN Card

By: Sean Crose

Saturday night’s Top Rank ESPN card from Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Florida began with the 25-2 Jose Pedraza facing off against the 40-2-1 Antonio Lozada in a scheduled 10 round lightweight affair. The opening round was close, with both men landing clean, but Pedraza landed the more impressive blows. Lozada pressured Pedraza in the second, as he had the first, but Pedraza’s ring generalship and accurate punching told the story of the round. Pedraza began to really put his punches together in the third. As the fight carried on, Pedraza began showing effective defense, even presenting shades of Floyd Mayweather’s famous shoulder roll/counter punch style. It was clear by the midpoint of the fight that Pedraza was simply the more skilled boxer of the two.


Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Round seven saw Pedraza moving forward against the aggressive Lozada, though Pedraza’s performance was marred by a low blow. By the first minute of the eighth, Pedraza was unloading on his man. Lozada survived, but Pedraza continued to land with frightening accuracy and consistency. By the end of the round, Lozada looked to truly be impacted by Pedraza’s sharp body punching. In between rounds, the game fighter looked completely defeated. Yet he raced out to meet Pedraza at the top of the ninth, regardless. No matter – Pedraza put Lozada down in the final minute of the round. Lozada got up, but Pedraza unloaded on his man against the ropes. Lozada’s father and trainer wisely stepped in to stop the bout.

It was time for the main event. The 25-1-1Masayuki Ito stepped into the ring to defend his WBO junior lightweight title against the 19-2 former Marine and Olympian Jamel Herring. The scheduled twelve round bout started with both fighters doing well, but with Herring edging the first round. Effective aggression and clean punching gave the defending champion the second. Herring’s jab told the story of the third. Herring engaged in a boxing masterclass in the fourth. By the fifth it was clear that Ito simply couldn’t find his rhythm. Herring ended the round with an impressive series of shots. In the sixth, Ito started landing clean. Ito continued to do better in the seventh, but Herring became largely capable of telegraphing his opponent’s shots.

The eighth round was a brawl, a brawl that Ito arguably got the better of. The ninth was close, though Herring ended up boxing effectively. Herring continued to box smartly in the tenth. Ito went down in the 11th, though it was ruled a slip. Ito was aggressive enough throughout the round to have possibly taken it. The final round was close, and could possibly have gone either way. When the scorecards were read, there was a new champion – Jamel Herring.

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Devin Haney vs. Antonio Moran Fight Preview

By: Oliver McManus

Bluechip lightweight prospect Devin Haney will look to record his 22nd professional win this weekend when he takes on Antonio Moran (24-3) over ten rounds in defense of his WBC International title. The fight tops Matchroom Boxing USA’s card at MGM National Harbor in Maryland that features Jessica McCaskill vs Anahi Esther Sanchez (WBC and WBA world title fight), Michael Hunter vs Fabio Maldonado (WBA International) and Filip Hrgovic vs Gregory Corbin (WBC International) in support.

Haney tops the bill for his first career fight in Maryland and his first bout since linking up with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom. The talented 20 year old has been making waves Stateside for a while now thanks to the maturity he’s shown in spite of his youth: debuting when he was just 17. In the four following years he has notched up 21 victories, 13 inside the distance, and really made a statement last May with a victory over Mason Menard.

Showcasing his full arsenal of tricks, the youngster immediately hit his stride with his rear right leg keeping Haney on top from distance – circumnavigating the ring in compass-like fashion which he complimented with a flash jab to the midriff and occasional switch-hitting. This was, arguably, the first occasion in which Haney was able to produce a peerless performance in which everything seemed to flow with him previously being quite predictable once hitting any sort of rhythm.

Moran will be hoping that habits of old creep back into the technique of Haney in order for the Mexican to impose a gameplan of his own. The 26 year old goes into the contest having fallen short on three previous occasions – twice in contentious circumstances back in Mexico – and will best be remembered for a gritty contest with Jose Pedraza last June. A perennial Latino champion with varying governing bodies, this is an opportunity for Moran to push past those regional fizzy belts and gain a meaningful scalp to his CV.

The Mexico City resident leads with a pawing jab from a sturdily straight posture and takes a while to warm up into contests but has found success when loosening up and letting the left hand throw wildly towards the body. Despite rattling seventeen victories by way of knockout, I’d say Moran is not your typical ‘Mexican’ fighter in terms of throwing the kitchen sink into a contest with constant aggression with his knockout power countered, really, with a methodical start to proceedings.

Victory is firmly expected for his Californian adversary but we’ve seen from recent fights that you can never rule out a Mexican fighter – it should be a rite of passage for any prospect to face a Mexican through the developmental phase of their career. Haney could be in a real learning fight, he could be dictating traffic from the off and cruise to victory but it’ll certainly be a good measure of how the young man can adapt to those in front of him. Predictability won’t wash come Saturday night.

Jessica McCaskill (6-2) and Anahi Esther Sanchez (19-3) provide the world title action on the Maryland bill with the two fighters seeking to unify their super lightweight belts. McCaskill enters the contest having claimed the WBC version in October with a routine points victory over Erica Anabella Farias whilst Sanchez is the WBA ruler after knocking out Diana Ayala inside a round last April.

Despite her inactivity Sanchez edges this contest, going in, thanks to her wealth of experience that has seen her win or challenge for world titles in three different weight divisions. The South American hits hard and is one of those fighters that is routinely getting the business done within the shorter two-minute rounds. A rough fighter who loves ‘getting involved’ – she can fall into a rhythm of clinching after landing a flurry of punches – Sanchez rolls with her shots and lands with consistent pressure. McCaskill, seven years the older fighter, is not a big underdog by any stretch of the imagination and has developed plenty since her debut in August 2015. She’s been blighted by a lack of regular action but has looked comfortable in her career to date. A real trope of her style is that she leads with her head when throwing her jab, not in a dangerous manner but, dropping it a good six inches which in turn takes her eye off the target.

Michael Hunter (16-1) and Filip Hrgovic (7-0) are the bruising heavyweights looking to add the knockout gloss to the card. Hunter looks to continue his momentum from the back end of 2018 – a year in which he knocked out Iago Kiladze, Martin Bakole and Alexander Ustinov – by defending his WBA International strap against Fabio Maldonado. The explosive 30 year old established himself as a surprise heavyweight contender and victory over Maldonado should be routine; the main question is whether Hunter can get rid of the former UFC fighter before the ten rounds are up. Maldonado (26-2) has proven himself to be incredulously negative in his two previous ‘step-ups’ with a reluctance to engage so it could be a long old night as far as Hunter is concerned.

Hrgovic faces an equally drab and dour competitor in the former of Gregory Corbin (15-1): the Dallas fighter being best known for repeatedly punching ‘King’ Charles Martin in the crown jewels. Hrgovic has strolled his way to an unbeaten seven fight career, even dropping the notably durable Kevin Johnson in his last fight. The 26 year old has been signed to a co-promotional agreement with Matchroom and Team Sauerland that guarantees him exposure on both sides of the Atlantic and he’s already proving to be one of the star-signings from the 2016 Olympians. Between the heavyweight contests this is most likely to end prematurely; Hrgovic knockout or Corbin disqualification, that’s still up for debate.

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Fury vs. Whyte Likely for 2019

By: Shane Willoughby

Everyone is desperately waiting to see Tyson Fury defend his self-proclaimed lineal championship against the fierce, 57 ranked contender Tom Schwarz.

Whilst the result of the fight is clear, one thing that isn’t so conclusive is what’s next for The Gypsy King?

After Fury walks his way to an easy points decision – winning every round. Who’s next to try and dethrone him of his never present, elusive and infamous title?

It is highly unlikely we see Fury vs Joshua this year with AJ most likely having to fight his WBO mandatory. And with Bob Arum saying he doesn’t want to make Fury vs Wilder until 2020, the former heavyweight champion might be running out of significant fights.

After Schwarz, Fury might have run out of meaningful opponents. With that said, he could always bring back Bermaine Sterverne or Chris Arreola as the fans won’t mind paying for those fights.

Saying that both Stervene and Arreola are ranked in the top 40 so that might be too big of a jump for the self-proclaimed lineal champion.

All jokes aside there is one opponent who is more than credible and possibly gives Fury some limelight.

Dillian Whyte vs Tyson Fury is possible for the end of 2019 as both fighters are in dire need of big fights and mainstream attention.

Whilst the body-snatcher has a credible opponent of his own in Oscar Rivas who he faces in July, its not quite the opponent that will propel him to the levels he needs to reach.

The fight between Whyte and Fury didn’t seem likely when WBC chairman Mauricio Sauliman first mentioned it; with both men appearing to turn it down for their own respected reasons.

Since then both British fighters have come out and expressed their want for the bout.

When you factor in the idea that they are both looking for decent opponents, the decision to make that fight is a no brainer. Not to mention the fact that this will be a massive fight in the UK.

However, it’s not like Fury is getting crumbs to fight these bums anyway.

Earlier this year Dillian Whyte looked to be heading to ESPN, following his countrymen Fury. With Whyte still a free agent this fight doesn’t appear to be a hard one to make as the ever-present promotion politics is absent.

Both the Gypsy King and the body snatcher must deal with their respected opponents first, but the fight between the two is more than possible. Especially, if the WBC order it as a final eliminator.

And Fury doesn’t have a track record for pulling out of fights, he has only done it to Alexander Ustinov, Vladimir Klitschko and Deontay Wilder.

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Katie Taylor On Delfine Persoon: “May The Best Girl Win”

By: Sean Crose

Heavyweight kingpin Anthony Joshua won’t be the only fighter of note stepping in between the ropes at Madison Square Garden on June 1st. Although the British multi-titlist will be making his American debut that night against the entertaining Andy Ruiz, another acclaimed titlist will be fighting on the card, as well. For Ireland’s Katie Taylor will be facing Delfine Persoon for the undisputed women’s lightweight championship of the world. The 13-0 Taylor currently holds the WBO, IBF, and WBA titles, while Persoon has held the WBC belt for over five years. Their match is scheduled for ten rounds.

“It’s great,” says Taylor, “to have the opportunity to have the chance to become the undisputed champion…every day in camp has been 100% focused on the task at hand so I won’t sit back and think about it until I’ve actually achieved it as that’s what I am like.” Taylor is also excited to return to Madison Square Garden, where she last fought in December. “The chance to fight for the four World titles and the Ring Magazine belt at the Mecca of boxing, MSG,” says Taylor, “I don’t think you could write a better script, it’s an absolute dream. Persoon is recognized as one of the best in the world pound-for-pound and has been the WBC champ now for over five years so it’s the best against the best. This is huge for women’s boxing.”

In Persoon, Taylor is facing a 43-1 champion with one of the most impressive records in the sport. “I think it’s going to be a really hard fight,” Taylor claims. “I’ve watched clips of her and she’s very tall and awkward, she punches non-stop for the ten rounds and I think it’s going to be a very physical fight. It’s a huge challenge but the one that I’ve wanted. She’ll bring the best out of me as I have the utmost respect for her and we’re going to lay it all on the line and may the best girl win. The famous green belt and the Ring Magazine belts being on the line is just amazing.”

This will be Taylor’s fifth fight in a single year – an oddity in today’s fight boxing world, where top fighters rarely step into the ring more than once or twice. As for Persoon, it will be the Belgian titlist’s fourth fight – again, an oddity in today’s fight game.

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Trout vs. Gausha: Previewing PBC on FS1’s Super Welterweight Showcase

By: Robert Contreras

On Saturday, May 25, Al Haymon’s brainchild PBC is back on FOX sports 1 from the Beau Rivage Resort Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi where four of the country’s super welterweight standouts fight to prove themselves better than the rest of the field.

Headlining the show is former world champion Austin Trout, of New Mexico, as he meets U.S. Olympian Terrell Gausha, from Ohio. In chief support, Chordale “The Gift” Booker looks to extend his undefeated record against divisional gatekeeper Wale “Lucky Boy” Omotoso.

Light heavyweight hopeful Ahmed Elbiali will be playing the role of curtain jerker, kicking off the FS1 broadcast at 8 p.m. ET.

Here’s a closer look at the two 154-pound matchups bolstering the card.

Austin Trout (31-5, 17 KO) vs. Terrell Gausha (21-1, 10 KO)

The 10-round main event will be Trout’s first fight since he settled for a majority-decision loss in June 2018 to Jermell Charlo. Over the championship distance, he kept up with the defending champion, going tit for tat, but two knockdowns assured Charlo the upperhands on the scorecards. It was his second loss to the fighting family.

In all, the 33-year-old southpaw from New Mexico may only be 1-3 over his previous four fights but he has remained near the top of the weight for years. His crowning achievement came in 2012 when he became the No. 1 boxer in the class (with no major promoter, to boot) by decisioning Miguel Cotto. But the following year back-to-back losses threatened to put an end to his days as a title contender. After taking apart Cotto, he was outboxed by Canelo Alvarez and Erislandy Lara.

Still, Trout carried on (even when sanctioning body malfeasance forced him into legal battles) acquiring three world title opportunities in as many fights going back to 2016. Rated Top 10 in the world by the WBC—whose title picture will become clear when the dust settles between Tony Harrison and aforementioned Charlo at the end of June—the pride and joy of New Mexico could secure yet another crack at the belt with a win over Gausha.

Gausha, a 31-year-old former title challenger himself, did not have to wait long to acquire some real sponsorship. After all, Haymon signed him straight out of the 2012 Olympic Games. Then without beating anybody worth their weight in salt, Gausha was pushed into a championship fight in 2017 against Lara. The American’s performance would not earn him any new fans. He was clearly a step behind the Cuban over the entire 12 rounds and hardly initiated much offense.

It would be another 14 months before Gausha was back in the ring. He finally returned last December to blast veteran Joey Hernandez inside of one round. The knockout was enough to regain a Top 15 rating by the WBA. And it is the kind of firepower necessary to carve out a place in the Top 10 and, more importantly, to win back favor with fight fans.

Gausha’s reputation may have preceded him in the eyes of the PBC. But a better picture of who he is as a fighter materialized in the minds of fans after being repeatedly floored by nondescript opponents—hitting the deck against the unheralded Luis Hernandez and William Waters—and walking away with a lucky decision over Steven Martinez, who swarmed the Olympian for the entirety of the scheduled 10 rounds.

If Trout is a shining example of determination, Gausha, with all the sterling promotional backing a boxer could hope for, is as underwhelming as former prospects can be. He is welcomed to prove everybody wrong on Saturday.

Chordale Booker (14-0, 7 KO) vs. Wale Omotoso (27-3, 21 KO)

Booker, 28, fights out of Connecticut, running up an undefeated pro record since turning professional in 2016. He is a fundamentally sound southpaw, operating behind a good jab. But his ring generalship can similarly be just as stiff: not one for upper-body movement and seemingly only capable of fighting in straight lines, moving forwards and backwards.

Four months ago, his modus operandi was enough to do the trick against the middling Juan De Angel, winning a wide decision and nearly securing the stoppage. Booker never let up over the full eight rounds, following De Angel around, stuffing straight punches into his man and adjusting in the latter rounds to send the Columbian puncher to the canvas with body blows.

Now graduating to the ten-round distance, he has a longtime spoiler to deal with.

Omotoso, 34, has seen it all nearly in his 13 years as a professional and brings the kind of power in his fists to test his younger counterpart. Once the welterweight division’s boogeyman the Nigerian-born California transplant is dangerous, holding more knockouts to his name than Booker has fights. It was an unlucky split-decision loss to Jamal James, after overpowering James, that convinced Omotoso to test his luck at 154 pounds.

Last competing in 2017, when he outfought Freddy Hernandez, it also marked his divisional debut. True to form, Omotoso turned up the ante at the end of the rounds to steal the cards. But he also once again showed a susceptibility to a cultured jab.

That’s what Booker’s game revolves around, boxing’s most important punch. Now to see if he can stand up to his man’s fast-twitch clubbing ability.

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